“The environment and sustainability will be the most important trends in the industry in the next decade” – Thailand’s TOA Paint talks trends and opportunities

24 July 2023

Ahead of the Asia Pacific Coatings Show in Bangkok this September, PPCJ spoke to Papichat Tangcaravakoon, Deputy Managing Director of Thai TOA Industries, about the company’s history and the current trends affecting the Thai paint and coatings market 

Q. When was Thai Toa Industries created and who started the company?

A. Our journey began as a nationwide distributor of imported paint products by Mr Sanguan Tangcaravakoon. With increasing demand in the market, Thai Toa Industries production plant was established in 1971.

Q. Where was the company’s first production plant and what paint products were first made? What was the initial output of the company?

A. The first production plant was located in the suburbs of Bangkok. Production mainly focused on water-based coatings. The production plant expanded in 1986 with an approximate annual output of two million gallons.

Q. Fast-forwarding to now, has Thai Toa expanded its production?

A. Currently, even though we have relocated, we are still based in Bangkok and have expanded our production.  We also established another production plant in Laos within the last decade to serve the local market.

Q. What paint products does the company produce and what is your annual output?

A. We produce both water-based and solvent-based architectural coatings, protective coatings and heavy-duty coatings.


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Q. How much of your paint is sold to the Thai market and how much is exported?

A. Most of our market is local but we do also export to Laos and Vietnam.

Q. What are the main benefits of having your business in Thailand? Are there any challenges?

A. Thailand is in a strategic location that provides good access to neighbouring countries and it fosters economic integration between regional partners.  The diverse and dynamic manufacturing sector in Thailand allows for various opportunities and overall, the country has quite a good infrastructure, but it does vary somewhat across the country.  With Thailand also attracting many foreign investors, it does intensify the competition as well.

Q. What, in your opinion, are the main challenges and trends in the paint manufacturing industry at the moment?

A. The global climate awareness trend is putting pressure on business to adapt and focus on sustainability.  In the paint manufacturing industry, it would encourage product developments that are more environmentally-friendly and minimise carbon footprint.  This would also encourage our value chain partners to transition to lower carbon alternatives and further drive their innovation as well.  We will likely see more environmentally focused regulations that will put pressure on our production and products.

Q. Is sustainability a big focus for Thai Toa? What ‘green’ products or initiatives do you have in place?

A. Sustainability is one of our main focuses.  We are constantly developing more environmentally-friendly formulations for our products. People will be looking for products that are not only easy to use, but also safe for them and their family.  With the DIY trend on the rise, we want to supply them with products that are ultra-low in VOC’s, low odour, safe and very easy to use with little or no experience.

"Thailand is in a strategic location that provides good access to neighbouring countries and it fosters economic integration between regional partners."

Q. The ASEAN region and wider market all operate under different and shifting chemical regulations. How does Thai Toa manage this aspect of paint manufacturing?

A. We must be aware of the current trends and regulations that are currently in place but also to anticipate how, on a global scale, regulations in other regions might affect ours. As part of the TPMA (Thai Paint Manufacturing Association), it provides a sharing of information on upcoming chemical regulations that are being currently discussed to be implemented. It allows us to anticipate the change and adapt efficiently.

Q. Has Big Data and AI become a large topic for manufacturers in Asia, and if so, has it impacted Thai Toa?

A. It has and we are continuously making improvements to our production process and utilising data for our operational efficiency and productivity.

Q. What impact did COVID-19 have on your company and do you think things are ‘back to normal’ now?

A. It did impact the productivity during the outbreak, as it did with many businesses, to ensure the safety of our workforces. Right now, we feel everything is back to normal in terms of business operations.

Q. What do you think will be the most important trends in the industry over the next 10 years?

A. The environment and sustainability will be the most important trends in the industry in the next decade.  Since paint manufacturing deals with chemical, we will certainly see more regulations in place to ensure businesses adapt and the demands from consumers will encourage product innovation that will be health and environmentally conscious.

The Asia Pacific Coatings Show will take place in Bangkok, September 6-8: www.asiapacificcoatingsshow.com

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